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Important Information from the SBS in response to the Coronavirus Pandemic

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Beware of the following SCAMS: 
 
1) The IRS will NEVER call you. Do not give any information to someone who calls saying they are from the IRS. Just hang up.

2) MEDICARE will NEVER call you. No one will ever call you to schedule a COVID-19 test at home. Hang up.

3) SOCIAL SECURITY will NEVER call you. If you are due money from the stimulus package, it will go directly to your bank account or you will receive a check. Social Security has your information.  NEVER give your social security number. Medicare number, bank, credit card or other personal info to anyone who calls asking for it.

4) Please note that the COVID-19 test is covered by Medicare.

 

Important announcement from the Consulate General of Switzerland - Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

 


 

Weekly Update from the SBS, Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Dear Members,

As of March 30, the SBS continues to abide with the Government order to “shelter-in-place” during these difficult times at least through April 30. Our offices will remain closed until further notice. We have spoken to or communicated with many of our members over the past weeks.

We continue to be available by phone or email if you have any questions or concerns regarding the coronavirus situation or other pressing concerns.

We know that this is a rapidly changing situation and your needs may change at any time. Below you will find a list of some resources to help you navigate the evolving circumstances:

  • Meals on Wheels: Department for the Aging: Dial 311 for information.
  • Grocery Services/Home Delivery: Dial 311 for information.
  • Entitlements/Benefits (i.e. Food Stamps): Hot Line 212-398-5045
  • Friendly phone call: DOROT 212-769-2850
  • Lifelong Learning: DOROT University without Walls 212-769-2850
  • There is a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures.
  • Also note that the IRS tax filing date has been extended from April 15 to July 15.

At times of uncertainty, anxiety, and isolation, the arts are great sources of comfort and solace. They can seem like a steadying force, rather than a mere distraction. In this time of social isolation, connecting with the arts can remind us of the human capacity to create and endure.

For those with access to the Internet or social media, here are some links to cultural enrichment sites:

Music
From the Meistersaal in Berlin: A luminous recital by soprano Anna Prohaska. Well worth hearing, with commentary from the performers, speaking about the music and these difficult times. Click here

From Andrea Bocelli to Joyce DiDonato: great musicians sharing at-home concerts. Click here

Museums
2,500 Museums You Can Now Visit Virtually. Click here

The Olympic Museum Lausanne
A fascinating geographical, temporal, cultural and artistic journey through the history of the Look of the Games. Click here

Journey through Switzerland
For a beautiful video of Switzerland with especially exciting views from above: Switzerland in 4K on YouTube. Over 4 million people have watched this! Click here

Montreux Jazz Festival
Pick your favorite artist and listen to a live concert. Click here

Exercise
We encourage you to browse YouTube for Senior Exercise sessions, including those by Silversneakers.

If you are alone and feeling isolated and would like emotional support, please let us know. We remain committed to the safety and well-being of our members and are here for you.

If you need to reach Elise Karras or Mary Jo Motyka, please reach out to them directly (for Elise Karras: 917-756-4480 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / for Mary Jo Motyka: 917-756-4681 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). They will return your phone calls and emails as soon as possible.

 


 

Weekly Update from the SBS, Monday, March 23, 2020


Dear Members,

As of today, the SBS Office remains closed.  We are available by phone or email if you have any concerns or questions regarding the coronavirus situation or other pressing issues.

We understand that this can be a difficult and lonely time. Below are some websites that can help pass the time and ease the isolation.

Opera
Free high definition opera every night beginning at 7:30 PM
www.metopera.org

Online Courses
Free online courses from Ivy League Universities
www.classcentral.com

Museums
Experience the best museums from London to Seoul in the comfort of your own home.
https://www.travelandleisure/com/attractions/museums-galleries/museums-with-virtual-tours

Books
SimplyE app will allow you to read books on your phone or device.                          
https://www.nypl.org/about/remote-resources

Exercise
We encourage you to browse YouTube for Senior Exercise sessions, including those by Silversneakers.

Musicals
15 plays and musicals you can watch on stage from home, including Sweeney Todd, Newsies and others.
https://playbill.com/article/15-broadway-plays-and-musicals-you-can-watch-on-stage-from-home

If you are alone and feeling isolated and would like emotional support please let us know!

Since this is a rapidly evolving situation, the SBS is continuing to monitor the situation closely. We remain committed to the safety and well being of our members. Because of the uncertainty surrounding the duration of the outbreak, we cannot now offer a definite re-opening date.

Our office will remain closed at least until Friday, March 27, and we will continue to provide updates in the days and weeks ahead.
If you need to reach Elise Karras or Mary Jo Motyka, please reach out to them directly (for Elise Karras: 917-756-4480 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / for Mary Jo Motyka: 917-756-4681 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). They will return your phone calls and emails as soon as possible.

 


 

March 16, 2020
 
Dear Members & Clients,
 
You are at the center of everything we do at the Swiss Benevolent Society of New York.
 
Your health and wellbeing are of utmost concern to us and you are our highest priority especially during the current COVID-19 epidemic. We all need to take this virus seriously.
 
As a precaution, and in keeping with current guidance from healthcare experts, we are, therefore, cancelling all remaining events (Kaffeeklatsches in NJ, Westchester and Long Island; Movies; Music & Fitness held at the SBS offices) for March and April. Importantly, this means we are also cancelling the Annual Meeting, which was scheduled for April 21st. The Board of Directors will announce a new date for the Annual Meeting as soon as the situation permits them to do so.
 
We are monitoring the official advice from city, state and federal health officials as well as the NJ Department of Health and the States coronavirus Task Forces.
 
For access to non-emergency information specifically with respect to senior citizens, please use the following phone numbers:

  • New York City call 311
  • Nassau County Office for the Aging - 516-227-8900
  • Suffolk County Office for the Aging - 631-853-8200
  • Westchester County Dept. of Senior Program and Services - 914-813-6300
  • For other parts of New York State: Office of the Aging - 844-697-6321
  • NJ Division of Aging Services - 877-222-3737 for access to Aging Services in your county
  • For Information on preventive care visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention:https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html

Please also take note that in order to protect both our employees and our members/clients, our offices will remain closed for the next two weeks, starting today. Please rest assured that we will remain up and running during this period and are available to provide our services to you during these challenging times. Our staff will be working from home and answering phone calls and emails. If you need to reach Elise Karras or Mary Jo Motyka, please reach out to them directly (for Elise Karras: 917-756-4480 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.g / for Mary Jo Motyka: 917-756-4681 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). They will return your phone calls and emails as soon as possible.
 
We hope that you and your families remain safe during these trying times.
 
Warm regards,
 
Christine Hubacher
Executive Director